The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine
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For moviegoers in 1936, on-location cinematography in and around California's mountainous Big Bear Lake area must have been astonishing. (This was the first PARAMOUNT picture filmed in three-strip Technicolor.)
It's a Hatfield/McCoy-type story set in the Appalachians. The often-violent feud between the Falins and Tollivers has been going on for so long no one can remember how it started. Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney are distant Tolliver cousins who plan to marry. Fred MacMurray wants to run a railroad through the mountain folks' pristine lands, but he meets local resistance. MacMurray's romantic interest in Sidney greatly complicates matters.
Henry Fonda also co-starred in the early Technicolor FOX western, JESSE JAMES (1939) with Tyrone Power, Randolph Scott, Brian Donlevy and John Carradine (as "the dirty little coward...").
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.
(7.2) The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936) - Henry Fonda/Sylvia Sidney/Fred MacMurray/Fred Stone/Nigel Bruce/Beulah Bondi/Robert Barrat/George 'Spanky' McFarland/Fuzzy Knight/Otto Fries/Samuel S. Hinds/Alan Baxter/Richard Carle/Irving Bacon/Charles Middleton
For those who don't know, Technicolor films like TRAIL were filmed using a special camera that ran three rolls of film simultaneously and a prism behind the lens split the image into three, one for each strip that registered blue, red and yellow. In the photo lab, each of the three rolls were run through to make one print and the three primary color dyes blended to produce the secondary colors such as green and orange. That's why Technicolor films are so vivid to the point of being somewhat unrealistic. The world would be a better place if we could see it in Technicolor. At any rate, kudos to Universal for issuing TRAIL and I'm hoping they've done right by this film otherwise there will be a real feud from film collectors!
Anyway, the movie is adequately done from every aspect -- writing, directing, acting. The most moving scene involves the wanton killing of a child family member, played by Spanky McFarland, a prominent and beloved performer as part of the popular "Our Gang" short subjects during the 1930s and early 1940s era.
There have been better films, of course, but this one deserves consideration as a potential valued addition to any avid old movie collector like me.
Directed by Henry Hathaway
To the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia comes Jack Hale (Fred MacMurray) to arrange the clearance of the path for a new railroad. Mountain girl June Tolliver (Sylvia Sidney) falls in love with Fred, which incurs the enmity of Sidney's boyfriend Dave Tolliver (Henry Fonda). It also puts Fred in the middle of a long-standing feud between June's family and another mountain clan. Hostilities alternately erupt and simmer until June's youngest brother Buddie is killed by a feud-inspired dynamite blast.
Paramount's first Technicolor feature and the first feature to be shot in Three-Strip Technicolor outside of a studio environment (on location), from the John Fox Jr. novel.
Oscar Nominated for Best Music Original Song ("A Melody from the Sky")
1. Henry Hathaway [aka: Marquis Henri Leonard de Fiennes] [Director]
Date of Birth: 13 March 1898 - Sacramento, California
Date of Death: 11 February 1985 - Hollywood, California
3. Sylvia Sidney [aka: Sophia Kosow]
Date of Birth: 8 August 1910 - Bronx, New York
Date of Death: 1 July 1999 - New York City, New York
3. Henry Fonda [aka: Henry Jaynes Fonda]
Date of Birth: 16 May 1905 - Grand Island, Nebraska
Date of Death: 12 August 1982 - Los Angeles, California
4, Fred MacMurray
Date of Birth: 30 August 1908, Kankakee, Illinois
Date of Death: 5 November 1991, Santa Monica, California
5.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I ordered this movie for my husband and he watched it when it arrived. Although he is content with this version, he knew of another version with the same title. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Sharon Rabon
Great movie!. My kind of movie because it's good and wholesome. Sad in some ways. It was so much fun watching Spanky McFarland.Highly recommend it.Published 14 months ago by Amy O'Dell
I enjoyed this movie very much. My mother and Dad saw this movie when it was new in 1936. It was their first Technicolor movie they had ever seen and the first feature length... Read morePublished 16 months ago by William J. Morrow
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